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Pakistan’s New Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, Installed As Pro-Khan Protests Hit Parliament

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Pakistan’s New Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, Installed As Pro-Khan Protests Hit Parliament

Shehbaz Sharif, the chairman of the PML-N party (Pakistan Muslim League-N), has been elected as the new prime minister of Pakistan by lawmakers in Pakistan’s National Assembly on Sunday, according to national broadcasters.

This will be the 72 year-old Sharif’s (who is brother of Nawaz Sharif) second time to lead the country as prime minister, having previously been in office between April 2022 and August 2023. He’s entering office for a five year term.

New Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, via PTI

Sharif said in his acceptance speech after a tumultuous and at times violent election season, “We were subjected to political victimization in the past but never took any revenge.” This appeared to be a shot at former PM Imran Khan, but without naming him directly.

Sharif had secured 201 parliamentary votes to become the clear victor over rival Omar Ayub (at 92 votes), who significantly had the backing of Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Khan has been urging on his political movement and allies, candidates which were forced to run on independent platforms, from jail.

Khan’s party has repeatedly claimed that the election “was stolen during the vote count” but the Election Commission vehemently denies this charge.

The Associated Press writes of the past weeks since the early February election, “Following days of negotiations, Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party and his supporters formed an alliance after the Feb. 8 election, which was overshadowed by militant violence, a nationwide mobile phone shutdown, Khan’s exclusion from the vote, and an unusual delay in announcing the result.” This delay was used of Khan’s party to issue charges of vote rigging and corruption.

Opponents made their anger known during new PM Sharif’s acceptance speech before parliament, per the AP:

Khan and his supporters have long described the more than one hundred corruption cases brought against him as ultimately the military’s attempt to control the country and permanently ‘disappear’ Khan from politics.

As for Sharif, he vowed in the Sunday speech to repair ties with the United States, and blamed the Khan era for creating tensions with Washington.

Tyler Durden Sun, 03/03/2024 – 19:30

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